Blackface and anti-Semitism: All the times YouTube’s Shane Dawson messed up
It’s not looking good
CW: Paedophilia, rape
Shane Dawson is in VERY hot water right now. The YouTube comedian-come-documentary maker has always been known to have a rather controversial past, but he’s had the remarkable ability to just be able to sweep it all under the rug and move on.
Like, which other content creator would get away with repeatedly using racist tropes such as blackface or saying the N-word on more than one occasion? Or be able to make constant lighthearted references to paedophilia and murder? It’s amazing that he’s been able to last this long, but in the same week that Jenna Marbles cancelled herself over similar accusations, he has finally released a full apology video (spoiler alert: people still aren’t interested).
So, from the older days of more obvious racism to the newer controversies that he’s had, here’s every single fuck up that Shane Dawson has made in his time as a YouTuber.
All the times he did blackface in videos
There are far too many videos with Shane using racial slurs and doing blackface to even begin to imagine making a separate heading for each instance – seriously, we’d be here all day. Luckily, one TikTok user has made a compilation of some of the worst ones:
The old videos of Shane’s were almost entirely based upon mocking stereotypes of different groups of people, and as such he displayed a huge amount of racist content to his young fans.
He addressed these videos in his latest apology video, in which he said: “Blackface was something that I did a lot. Like, I did it a lot on my channel. There’s no excuse for it, there’s literally no excuse. I made a video six years ago talking about it and I gave excuses, I knew it was wrong, I knew I never wanted to do it again, but I didn’t do the work. I didn’t actually look into the history of it and why it’s so wrong, and why people were so upset.
“My excuse [was] ‘I was just being funny, I love black people, I’m not a racist.’ I was trying to be funny.”
The video featuring Willow Smith
This clip is arguably what has caused the most outrage on Twitter, and reignited the cancelling. Resurfacing last week, the video shows Dawson pretending to masturbate to a promotional photo of Willow Smith, who was 11 at the time.
This was clearly the first that the Smith family had seen of the video, which caused both Jaden and his mother Jada to respond in a series of critical tweets.
Shane is yet to respond regarding the video of Willow Smith or to the Smith family’s tweets.
Making jokes about paedophilia
Shane has made jokes about paedophilia for as long as he’s been making YouTube videos, making several rather disturbing comments on a podcast and in a video about underage children.
The particular video above shows him joking about killing a baby by having sex with it on a 2013 podcast, while the clip below shows him encouraging a young girl to seductively eat a cocktail sausage for any child predators that might be watching.
Shane responded in 2018 to the controversy around the paedophilia clips, saying: “I am sorry that these [offensive jokes] are making people uncomfortable, but also it’s very out of context.
“When you listen to the full thing, it’s still shitty and creepy and bad jokes, but it’s not me being a paedophile… I’m proud that I’ve grown up. I’m proud that I don’t make crazy jokes anymore.”
Joking about the death of Travyon Martin
In this particular clip from a challenge video with Steve Greene, Dawson picks up a piece of paper with Travyon Martin’s name on it, and is expected to roast him. He then suggests that Travyon wouldn’t have died if he “had a job”.
Dawson hasn’t responded to this video in particular, but Steve and Nikki have, uploading a heavily disliked video in which they try and justify the nature of the video. The caption reads: “Context matters. Regardless, we’re sorry to anyone who was hurt from seeing clips from this video.”
In the above clip, Dawson plays on anti-semitic tropes as he impersonates Hitler. In the video, he plays on the idea that Hitler can read “mean” tweets that have been written about him.
The whole thing is in rather poor taste, and many commentators have accused him of anti-semitism since. He is yet to respond to this video.
Shane having sex with his cat
Shane was forced to make statements on comments he made in an old video, where he claimed to have ejaculated on his cat after “spreading its legs”. He later went on to claim that this was just a joke in a series of tweets and a video:
Cancelling James Charles with Jeffree Star
Shane and Jeffree were always big buds, appearing in a number of each others’ videos. During the controversy between James Charles, Tati Westbrook and Star last year, Dawson couldn’t help but get involved and make his siding with Jeffree very well known.
Shane responded to these claims in a now-deleted tweet which can be found above.
But an apology is supposed to make it all better, right? Hrmmm.
Dawson defends all of his past actions in this video by saying: “All of that is stupid and wrong. And I put that onto the internet as an adult, and that is insane. I think this year specifically changed me as a person and I started seeing black people who I know, who I am friends, who I’ve known for a long time, I’m seeing them openly talking about the years of anger they’ve had about racist jokes, about blackface, about micro-aggressions, everything that they’ve gone through.”
This video has come under a lot of criticism, so much so that the like to dislike ratio is 5:3 and a copypasta has emerged in the comments section reading: “Depression and anxiety isn’t an excuse to sexualize children, Shane.”
In addition to this, he has lost many subscribers, putting his channel back at the nine million mark. He has yet to respond to criticism of his apology video.